"Finlayson plays guitar and sings like God" says former Mean Fiddler promoter Pete Feenstra. Sentiments echoed by the music press including blues magazine Blueprint who said of Finlayson "this man should be a household name". This charismatic performer, who fronted seminal bands Bees Make Honey and Meal Ticket, is still steamrollering audiences with THAT voice.
Willy has never been short of fine performers to join him on stage and in the studio. His CD 'From Snake Ranch to Helicon Mountain' features performances from Jools Holland, Paul Carrack, Micky Moody, Nigel Portman Smith, Pino Paladino, Charlie Morgan, Gilson Lavis, Mick Rogers, Papa George and Matt Irving.
Willy Finlayson has a world-class voice. He has an enviable vocal range that can both tug the heart and blow your head off. Although greatly influenced by the Blues, he has the ability to make the most of any rock or pop song and he is an emotive soul singer. A very experienced performer, Finlayson tailors his performance to get the best out of an audience no matter what age they are or musical interests they have. His major musical influences include Ray Charles, Donny Hathaway and Robbie Robertson of The Band.
Willy Finlayson was born in Penicuik, near Edinburgh. A talented footballer, at age 17 he tried out twice for Falkirk in Scotland and had a month's trial with Newcastle United. But a knee injury prevented him from taking the football further. Football's loss turned out to be Music's gain.
He started performing at the age of 13 - singing with musicians much older than himself in the Scottish band The Dukes. Willy has lived in London for over 30 years.
In the mid 80s he had hit single in Europe with the soulful ballad "On The Air Tonight", which was
featured in the film "Nightmare on Elm Street II".
Willy is a prolific songwriter. His studio album "From Snake Ranch to Helicon Mountain" was created with fellow Scot, Matt Irving (Chris Rea, Squeeze, Paul Young). It is a mix of 'radio friendly' rock, blues and ballads. Five out of nine tracks are written by Finlayson. It features classy performances from Jools Holland, Paul Carrack (Mike & The Mechanics, Ace), Micky Moody (Whitesnake) and Mick Rodgers (Manfred Mann).
Willy is also a talented lead guitarist, comfortably holding his own with some of England's finest guitarists ... world-acclaimed Micky Moody and Mick Rodgers have been frequent members of Finlayson's 20-year-old band "The Hurters".
Willy has toured all over Europe, South America and Scandinavia with bands Writing On the Wall - where they represented England at The Rio Song Festival in Rio de Janeiro - Bees Make Honey and Meal Ticket who opened for Ry Cooder, Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band and Frankie Miller.
You can see WILLY FINLAYSON AND THE HURTERS in and around London with a variety of band members including Nigel Portman Smith, Micky Moody, Alan Coulter, Matt Irving, Matt Cheadle and Dave Colquehoun. HALF A MEAL TICKET with Steve Simpson and Nigel Portman Smith perform regularly every last Sunday afternoon in the month at The Red Lion, Linkfield Road, Isleworth when they play many of the original Meal Ticket numbers.